People who keep up with reality television have probably heard whispers about sketchy ish that happens during production. Both rumors and truths make their way to fans, so how do you confirm which one is which?
VH1 spoke with UnREAL actress Johanna Braddy about her view of reality television after acting on the Lifetime scripted drama that aims to expose the truth, and the inherent problems that come with making reality television. Co-creator and writer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, used to be a producer for The Bachelor, so if any show can speak to — and dispel — some of the myths of reality TV, UnREAL is it.
“I was never a huge fan of reality television before UnREAL,” Braddy says. “I think that’s part of why I wanted to join the show, because it was kind of shedding light on something that is much darker than it seems on TV. I mean, shady stuff happens.”
By “shady,” she refers to one tactic featured on her show, where producers isolate cast members from the outside world, and she understands why that could cause someone to act differently from their usual self when they’re on-camera.
Braddy also says that the editing can completely change an audience’s impression of a character, citing an example from UnREAL when her character’s father died. The fictional reality show in UnREAL, Everlasting, caught her understandably acting a fool, but cut her father’s death out. “You can’t really judge these contestants this harshly, because a lot of it is edited,” she explains.
Braddy’s been told by higher ups on the show and close friends who work in reality TV that the script of UnREAL is a pretty accurate portrayal of what goes down during production, so if you want more tea, consider making it your next binge.
And when you’re caught up on UnREAL, you can watch Johanna Braddy star with Taylor Lautner in the drama Run the Tide.
Braddy says most of her time on the set of Run the Tide was spent with Lautner due to the nature of her storyline. They had the luxury of sitting down together with director Soham Mehta for extensive talks about their vision for the film and their characters’ relationship, which she says she doesn’t typically get to do when working in television.
While Braddy and Lautner experienced their fair share of highs and lows on-screen, Braddy has nothing but good things to say about him IRL.
“Taylor was all in,” she says. “He was so focused and so driven. He’s one of the loveliest people to work with.” Braddy says working with Lautner sparked a real friendship as well, so all of the people who used to hang up posters of him shirtless back in the day would most likely agree that she still came out on top.
Run the Tide is in theaters now.